Why’s Ai-Da, the First Robot Artist, Weirdly Hot?


'We are continuing to develop her'

Cometh the hour, cometh the machine. London's museums are back open – and among the new exhibitions is a solo show of self-portraits by Ai-Da, 'the world's first ultra-realistic robot artist'. When Ai-Da first burst onto the art scene a couple of years ago, 'she' was given a, shall we say, creepily horny reception from a certain Times critic. This time, ArtReview sent Imogen West-Knights along to the Design Museum to review the AI android's efforts. The art isn't exactly eye-catching ('They're the sort of thing you might expect to see on the cover of an EDM best-of compilation').

But that's the least of this show's problems, our writer thinks. 'Why, I kept asking myself, is she kind of hot? Why did the robot artist need to be a kind of hot woman? I sidled up to her to ask how she felt about being there. She blinked at me disconcertingly for a long moment before giving her answer, in a flat, quintessentially robotic voice: "I have no feelings, but I am pleased when my work provokes a response in the viewer." If a human artist gave you a clichéd, nothingy response like this you'd nod politely and excuse yourself to go to the toilet, but because she's a – and I must stress this again – weirdly hot robot, everyone murmured appreciatively.'

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